visits on art, design, architecture and literature

Munich Haus der Kunst: Capsule 05: João Maria Gusmão &Pedro Paiva; Capsule 06: Sara MacKillop

Haus der Kunst 2 years ago inaugurated a new program of focused one gallery exhibitions that explore recent developments amongst a generation emerging international artists. The goal of the Capsule Exhibition series is to engage audiences in the production of new work by artists at critical points of artistic breakthrough in their careers.

I have been one of the biggest fans of those great exhibitions ….  sadly to see Capsule 05 and Capsule 06  departing today.  The curators  Anna Schneider  (Capsule 05) and Julienne Lorz (Capsule 06)  in spite of their respective diverse different media of their  artists have done amazingly a powerful presentation;   you may leave the dark realm of Capsule 05 but yet poetic ambience that the duo João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva have created, you enter into the light of  the “Window Display” by  Sara Mackillop at Capsule 06.


João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
Installationsansicht / Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter


Sara MacKillop
Installationsansicht / Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter

The focus of their presentation in Haus der Kunst, “Peacock/Pfau”, is their latest cinematic work complex, which was developed in Japan. The 16mm films are silent and shown in a loop. The only sound in the room is that of the projectors, which further emphasizes the materiality of the film. The first film, “Mating Dance”, introduces the theme: the construction of a self-image. Using his striking plumage, which he can fan out into a semi- circle, the peacock tries to woo the peahen.

Three other films, unified by the element of water, run on a second projector. They combine key aspects of the artists’ practice: the construction of a theory for their own work and the examination of this through visually-poetic experiments. The film “Ventriloquism” from 2009, for example, explores the origins of ventriloquism as a religious practice, in which it was used to communicate with spirits and the dead. The film contains a water clock, whose time interval equals the length of the film. (curator, Anna Schneider) 


Mating season, 2016
© João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
Courtesy of the artists and Galeria Fortes Vilaça,
São Paulo; Galeria Graça Brandão, Lisboa; Sies + Höke,
Düsseldorf; ZERO …, Milano

Gusmão & Paiva’s artistic approach draws on diverse literary sources, including René Daumal (“The Defining Memory”); pataphysics, the study of what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics; and abyssology, the doctrine of the abyss. The core belief of all these philosophies is the constant mutability of all that exists. It turns away from classical reasoning, combines putative analysis with humor and focuses on the imperceptible. The world of things thus reveals itself as a wealth of wonders. Man retains his susceptibility to the supernatural and divine manifestations. (curator, Anna Schneider) 


João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
The horse of the prophet (detail), 2011. Produced by Frac Île-de-France/Le Plateau, Paris in collaboration with Lamu Palm Oil Factory, Kenya. Courtesy of the artists and Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo; Galeria Graça Brandão, Lisbon; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf; ZERO …, Milan. © João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva

In “Wave” from 2011, a black rock is slowly swallowed by an ocean wave – an archetype for cyclical creation. The film uses the stylistic device of extremely drawn-out slow-motion recording, thus lending the movements a special importance. The artists shot the film using a high-speed camera capable of capturing as many as 500 frames per second; they then run the footage in slow-motion, displaying fewer than the usual 24 frames per second. (curator, Anna Schneider) 


Wave, 2011
© João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
Courtesy of the artists and Galeria Fortes Vilaça,
São Paulo; Galeria Graça Brandão, Lisboa; Sies + Höke,
Düsseldorf; ZERO …, Milano

Sara MacKillop (born 1973 in Bromley, UK) created the works on view especially for the Capsule exhibition. Her works belong to the tradition of conceptual art and minimalism. The new work “Window Display”are minimalistic, airy and individual assemblages. Similar in design to earlier works, such as “Pens” (2006), in which the artist combined the same type of pens to form a kind of post, these assemblages are rooted in the everyday. They initially appear to consist of ordinary office materials, such as envelopes. However, the selected motifs – pens, cartridges and paper – are gradually disappearing from general use as they become outdated. (curator, Julienne Lorz)


Sara MacKillop
Installationsansicht / Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter


Sara MacKillop
Installationsansicht /Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter

Sarah MacKillop organizes the objects into three islands that are linked through repeated motifs and objects. There is an informal quality: The wrapping paper is unrolled and can potentially be re- rolled, and the book covers hang from the space’s architecture or from other objects – many of the objects also overlap physically. The arrangements do not have a final form, but with their flexible, short-term, or temporary quality link to a window display.


Sara MacKillop
Installationsansicht / Installation view Haus der Kunst, 2016
Photo: Maximilian Geuter
Sara MacKillop (b. 1973 in Bromley, UK) lives and works in London. She studied painting at the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited extensively: group shows include “Books and Prints”, Serralves Museum, Porto; “Concrete Poetry”, Hayward Gallery, London; “Kultur und Freizeit”, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster; solo shows include Kunsthalle Charlottenburg, Copenhagen; Spike Island, Bristol; White Columns, New York; Whitechapel Project Space, London.
The Portuguese artist duo João Maria Gusmão (born 1979) and Pedro Paiva (born 1977) has developed a magical and mysterious oeuvre over the past 15 years, which includes films, photographs, sculptures, and camera-obscura-installations.
 Anna Schneider since 2012  is assistant curator at Haus der Kunst in Munich. In 2009 she received her M.A. in Exhibition and Museum Studies as a Fulbright Fellow from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2007, she received a degree in Cultural Work from the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam. Her research interests are in interdisciplinary relationships of contemporary art and in cultural phenomena with regards to historical, economic and political contexts.
Julienne Lorz -curator at the Haus der kunst in Munich. Having started out as a dancer and choreographer in the early 90s, Julienne completed her MA Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art, London in 2004. Since 2010 she is a curator at the Haus der Kunst, where she co-curated a number of exhibitions including thematic shows such as ‘Golden Times'(2010), ‘Sculptural Acts'(2011), as well as “Image-Counter-Image'(2012), Her latest exhibitions ‘Louise Burgeois. Structures Existence: The Cells’ opened in Haus der Kunst in february 2015.
Okwui Enwezor  – director of Kaus der Kunst-extends his contract as director of Haus der Kunst” ; I am looking forward to continuing with my colleagues in Haus der Kunst the successful programmatic orientation of the institution”, annotates Okwui Enwezor the decision…


The Kunstrevein München (k.m) presents ( 13 September 2016 until 8 January 2017) “Unfinished Mandarin” — a rotating exhibition of drawings by Gonçalo Pena in the Schaufenster am Hofgarten, co-organized with João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva.
The Gusmão and Paiva will display a sporadically changing procession of presentations of Pena’s pictures every two weeks over the course of the fall. Along with many others, these drawings will also be published in a book of the same name, a follow up to their 2014 book Monkey Trip (published by Mousse), ) — accompanied by written contributions from Gusmão, Paiva, Post Brothers, and Kunstverein Director Chris Fitzpatrick. While the publications present a linear, almost cinematic, sequence of Pena’s drawings, the Schaufenster exhibition conversely displays the images in a procession of variable layouts and groupings that allows for more complex and multiple associations to be made from their juxtaposition.



Munich; “Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glass” at The Design Museum

Curators: Dr. Xenia Riemann, Dr. Josef Straßer ; Assistant curator: Nadine Engel; July 1, 2016 – Oct. 16, 2016 (Die Neue Sammlung, Pinakothek der Moderne,Rotunde, 2nd floor)

While I am enjoying some days in Maremma/Toscana,  I reflect back to Munich with a beautiful exhibition that opened few weeks ago in Munich “Murano. Milano. Venezia, Glass” with around 200 object and accompanying drawings from the Holz Collection (Berlin) which is deemed one of the most important collections of glass from Murano world wide.

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung
Vases “A Piume” (Installation view), Archimede Seguso,
c. 1956, XXVIII. Biennale di Venezia, 1956, Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Photo: Anna Seibel

The international exhibitions held at the Triennale di Milano and the Biennale di Venezia are barometers of the most significant developments in twentieth century contemporary design and art. It is therefore no coincidence that Murano glass regularly attracts awards at both Milan and Venice. Having resurrected a range of centuries-old techniques, glassmakers such as A.V.E.M, Archimede Seguso, Barovier & Toso, and Venini learned to apply this knowledge in new and ingenious ways. Their work is a synthesis of the master glassmakers’ craftsmanship and the designers’ artistry. The objects they create attest to a successful renaissance of glass design that continues to the present day. (edited text/press/ Die Neue Sammlung) 


Vase “Cinese”, Carlo Scarpa for Venini, c. 1940, XXII. Biennale di Venezia, 1940,  Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Foto: Atelier  Martin Adam, Berlin

“…Murano is the embodiment of Italian glass design. Venice had advanced to being a centre for Middle European glass art as early as the 13th century and when the entire glass production was moved to the neighbouring islands, glass from Murano gained world-wide importance from the 14th century onwards. As the Republic of Venice’s power dwindled, glass production on Murano also declined. Yet it was revived during the 19th century and enjoyed another peak in the 1950s and early 1960s.“(Angelika Nollert,director of Die Neue Sammlung  at preface of published book/catalogue of the exhibition )

Calice a spirale”, an object from the Artisti Barovier factory, is one of the oldest pieces. The cup on a spiral-shaped base went on display during the very first Venice Biennale in 1895. While the glass objects realized prior to the First World War were typically designed by the factories themselves, from the 1920s on designers and artists were brought in to decide the shape and appearance of objects. Collaborating closely with the glass-makers enabled them to explore the creative and technical scope glass afforded. Indeed, opaque vessels by architect Carlo Scarpa inspired by Chinese vases stand for a new design idiom as championed by the Venini glass factory……. (Die Neue Sammlung press)

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung

Objects “Vetro Pesante”(installation view), Alfredo Barbini, c. 1962, XXXI. Biennale 1962, photo:Anna Seibel

“…Workshops such as A.Ve.M., Archimede Seguso, Barovier & Toso or Venini managed to develop a contemporary formal language by employing new shapes and decors and in this way assumed a leading role alongside countries such as the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries, France or the former Czechoslovakia. In the 1950s and 1960s in particular, peak performances were achieved in Murano glass in terms of an autonomous design that certainly possessed analogies to abstract art. “(Angelika Nollert,director of Die Neue Sammlung; preface in the  book/catalogue of the exhibition )

“Barovier is one of the oldest Italian glassmakers and family businesses, founded in 1291 on the island of Murano. Murano was where the glaziers had to do their work to prevent the risk of fires in the cities as well as to preserve the secrets of the trade. The first member of the family on record is Jacobello in 1295. Two centuries later, Angelo Barovier became a great name creating precious pieces, one of which; the ‘Barovier wedding cup’ is now in the Murano museum and said to date from 1450.” (Barovier & Toso,biography at Rose Uniacke

Vase, c. 1935/36, Ercole Barovier for Barovier & Toso, XX. Biennale di Venezia, 1936 Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Foto: Atelier Martin Adam, Berlin

The unusual designs by Ercole Barovier or the polychrome “Oriente” vases by painter Dino Martens attest to a great delight in experimentation during the 1950s.  The popular “Pezzati”, masterminded by the versatile Fulvio Bianconi, or the sophisticated “Merletti” by Archimede Seguso, stand for excellent artistry and a complete mastery of technical challenges. Fratelli Toso were especially renowned for black glass designs.

Vase “Diamantato“ (Installation view), c. 1968, Ercole Barovier for Barovier & Toso, XXXIV. Biennale di Venezia, 1968,
Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Photo: Anna Seibel

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung

Vase “Siderale”(installation view) c. 1952, Flavio Poli for Seguso Vetri d’Arte, XXVI. Biennale di Venezia, 1952, photo: Anna Seibel

Influenced by Abstract Expressionism, the works by artist Luigi Scarpa Croce are rarely exhibited. The “Rotellato” pieces by Barovier & Toso demonstrate that in the 1960s glass objects were more colorful and decorative, while the shapes became more classical and plain. Finally, in the early 1970s large vessels and simple interlayer techniques produced spectacular results. (Die Neue Sammlung, press)

Among the few international designers represented in shows in Milan and Venice were the Swedish artist Tyra Lundgren, American sculptor Thomas Stearns or the two Swedish designers Birgitta Karlsson and Ove Thorssen.  They all worked with Venini, one of the world’s most famous makers of Murano glass.

A beautiful book/catalogue is published for the exhibition:curatorial team: Dr Xenia Reimann and Dr Josef Strasser  who developed the exhibition concept with Steffen John (who maintains the Holz collection).

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung

Vases “Pesce“ and “Tulipano“ (Installation view), c. 1960,
Alfredo Barbini, XXX. Biennale di Venezia, 1960,
Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Photo: Anna Seibel

Basel “Maxeville Design Office” by Jean Prouvé unveiled by Galerie Patrick Seguin

This last June at Design Miami/Basel, Galerie Patrick Seguin, frequent purveyors of Prouve’s work  unveiled  the Jean Prouvé’s Maxéville Design Office to the public for the first time, lovingly restored down to the last screw. It was presented at the Design Miami/Basel collectors’ fair in Switzerland, taking place from 14 to 19 June 2016, along with documentation of the restoration process.


photos@Courtesy Galerie Patrick Seguin

This piece of architecture was originally produced in 1948 as a prototype for the reconstruction after the war. Prouvé decided to place the house in his own plant in Maxéville, where it became the Ateliers Jean Prouvé Design Office; as demountable houses were still a little too avant-garde then, no serial production were made.  However, the  buildings of the plant were demolished except for the Design Office who luckily survived; it might now be considered as a rare witness of XXth century modern architecture.

Born in Nancy, France, in 1901, Prouvé rose to become one of the most important architects and designers of the mid-20th century. In 1947 Jean Prouve moved his workshop to Maxéville, a suburb outside of Nancy, in eastern France, and his company became a hotbed of innovative constructional thinking in France. Technicians, draftsmen and laborers worked together in an ambience of mutual respect. This version of 10 x 12 meter demountable house with a 2 x 2 canopy was originally produced in 1948 as a prototype for the reconstruction after the War. Intended as a demonstration model that would convince the public of the virtues of prefabricated housing, this was a copybook model: the use of structural axial portal provides an open, fluid plan rendered highly adaptable by interchangeable partitions and one-piece glazed or solid facing panels. (Galerie Patrick Seguin press) 

set up of the house http://www.patrickseguin.com/en/videos/maxeville-design-office/

Thanks to Patrick Seguin, the French design dealer who owns the world’s largest collection of Prouvé architecture – 23 houses. Founded in 1989 to promote 20th-century French design, Galerie Patrick Seguin has been leading the resurgence of interest in Prouvé’s work recently. They have hunted down and restored a variety of examples of his demountable houses. With 19 of these structures ranging from 172 to 2054 sq. ft., the gallery has worked strenuously to promote Jean Prouvé’s architecture through numerous exhibitions and fairs throughout the world, including at the MoMa in New York, DesignMiamiBasel/, the Venice Biennale, and the Pinacoteca Govanni e Marella Agnelli in Turin.


 photos @Courtesy Galerie Patrick Seguin

Patrick Seguin discovered the Maxéville which was covered as a club called Le Bounty, in an industrial suburb of the French city of Nancy. Seguin knew the Maxéville Design Office might still exist. He had driven by the original site where it had stood. And he had seen Le Bounty without realising that it was indeed the Prouvé structure – for it was now covered in blue aluminium siding and stuck on top of another building. Unrecognisable, it was hiding in plain sight. (Amy Serafin, in Wallpaper, june 15, 2016)

Accompanying its exhibitions, Galerie Patrick Seguin has also developed an editorial line of comprehensive publications and is currently releasing a set of 5 monographs dedicated to Jean Prouvé’s demountable architecture, illustrated with archival and contemporary photographs.
These 5 volumes are the first of 15 that will be released in 3 separate boxed sets over the course of 2015 and 2016.





Munich; Johann Andreas Wolff (1652-1716) Draughtmanship in Munich around 1700

05.05-17.07.2016 Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München at Pinakothek der Moderne

Johann Andreas Wolff (1652-1716)  electoral court painter in Munich and in Freising,  was a leading participant since  about 1680 numerous sacred and profane new and renovated buildings in southern Germany and Austria, such as in the modernization of state rooms of the Munich Residenz by Elector Max Emanuel.  The Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München secures more than half of his surviving drawings that are shown on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of his  death at the Pinakothek der Moderne.

41641 ZJohann Andreas Wolff, VENUS UND AMOR AUF EINEM VON SCHWÄNEN GEZOGENEN HIMMELSWAGEN  “Venus and Cupid on a heavenly chariot drawn by swans, design for the ceiling mural in the Munich Residence, around 1692; pen and red-brown ink, grey and light brown wash, over graphite  161 x 250 mm © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


34602 Z

Johann Andreas Wolff   DIE MYSTISCHE VERMÄHLUNG DER HL. KATHARINA, “The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine, around  1692; Pen and brown ink, coloured wash, 309 x 215 mm
© Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


14362 Z

Johann Andreas Wolff, ALEXANDER ZIEHT PERSISCHE KLEIDUNG AN “Alexander wears Persian attire”, design for the ceiling painting (now lost) of the Electoral dressing room in the Munich Residence, around 1680,  341 x 561 mm © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


 Other patrons were Prince Bishop Johann Eckher of Freising and the abbots of major Austrian pins (St. Florian, Kremsmünster, Göttweig)….In the baroque interior beings throughout the north of the Alps Wolff exercised decisive influence. Its high extraordinary altarpieces dominate today in many South German and Austrian churches and monasteries.

Wolff_Hl-1. Sippe_um1684

Johann Andreas Wolff  HL. SIPPE “The Holy Kinship”, design for the central panel of the altarpiece in the Church of St. Martin and Castles in Landshut, around 1684, pen and red-brown ink, red-brown wash, 304 x 235 mm,  © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


Since the last monograph on Wolff was drawn up in 1988 (Kuno Schlichtenmaier), the image of work and importance of the painter is to revise. In addition to new discoveries and partially modified ups and a re-reading of the numerous surviving sources new questions are asked to Wolff’s biography and oeuvre: What is his position in the “Organization” of the Munich court to understand?  …How did the artist whose ceiling paintings, sculptures and ephemeral Triumphalbauten was designed alongside monumental altarpieces, contributed to the representation of court and church? ,,, Is the role of Munich as an art center in 1700 to re-evaluate? (Johann Andreas Wolff (1652 – 1716) – a court painter and art director Edited by Sibylle Appuhn-Radtke, Josef H. Biller, Dagmar Dietrich and Maria-Luise Hopp-Gantner) 

Wolff_Die Verkundigung an Maria_um1678

Johann Andreas Wolff DIE VERKÜNDIGUNG AN MARIA “The Annunciation”design for a painting that now hangs in the Diözesanmuseum, Freising, around 1678; pen and black ink, grey wash, heightened with white, on light brow paper,  263 x 179 mm © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München


30155 D


Johann Andreas Wolff  DIE ANBETUNG DER HIRTEN “The Adoration of the Magi”, design for the Nativity Altarpiece in St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Passau, around 1697, 253 x 199 mm © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München

Wolff_Das Mahl der Kleopatra und des Marcus Antonius_um 1680

Johann Andreas Wolff  DAS MAHL DER KLEOPATRA UND DES MARCUS ANTONIUS “The Feast of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony”, probable design for the Alexander Room in the Munich Residence, around 1680; pen and brown ink, inked-in over graphite sketch, grey and light-brown wash, 377 x 292 mm   © Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München

The research results of a working group to appear to Wolff’s 300th anniversary 2016 Apelles Publishing.  The exhibition of the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München allows  a new look at Wolff as a draftsman.

Wolff_Alexander veranlasst Ephestionis zur Verschwiegenheit_um1680

Johann Andreas Wolff ALEXANDER VERANLASST EPHESTIONIS ZUR VERSCHWIEGENHEIT   ‘Alexander makes Ephestionis swear an oath  of silence’, design for the ceiling painting (now lost) in the ‘Rittestube’of the Munich Residence, around 1680; pen and black and brown ink, grey and brown wash. 179×180 mm ©Staatlische Graphische Sammlung München



a beautiful publication “Johann Andreas Wolff: Zeichenkunst in München um 1700″ Achim Riether (author); Joseff Strasser (contributor)

all images provided by the Press Department of Pinakothek der Moderne for this editorial reporting. Thank you!

London; Christiana Soulou “The Book of Imaginary Beings After Jorge Luis Borges” with an essay by Donatien Grau

CS book final

Few days ago this  amazing gift/book arrived at my door step.  An extraordinary book with 50 drawing by the  artist that I admired for years, Christiana Soulou.   The drawings greatly inspired by Soulou’s love and admiration of Jorge Luis Borges and Margarita Guerrero’s book “The Imaginary Beings (1957) – a fantastic anthology of “strange creatures conceived down through history by the human imagination.”  The project has evolved and expanded over more than two years, originating in a presentation at the 2013 Venice Biennale, where Soulou’s drawings were presented as part of ‘The Encyclopedic Palace’. Published on occasion of the exhibition “The Book of the Imaginary Beings After Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January -20 February 2016.

HQ18-CS11448D Lion cerf

Christiana Soulou ‘Lion cerf’, 2015, colour pencil on paper
site size: 21 x 29.6 cm / 8 ¼ x 11 ⅝ in, unique
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January – 20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, (Colour Illus. (p.65))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


In the 1967 foreword to ‘The Book of Imaginary Beings’, Jorge Luis Borges and Margarita Guerrero, his co-author, presented the change of title from Handbook of Fantastic Zoology to its current denomination: “the title of this book would justify the inclusion of Prince Hamlet, of the point, of the line, of the surface, of n-dimensional hyperplanes and hyper volumes, of all generic  terms, and perhaps of each of one of us and of the godhead. In brief, the sum of all things-the universe.  We have limited ourselves, however, to what is immediately suggested by the word ‘ imaginary beings’; we have compiled a handbook of the strange creatures conceived through time and space of the human inspiration.” (Donatien  Grau, ‘Credo Quia..’)

HQ16-CS9756D Thorny devil and dragons
Christiana Soulou ‘Thorny Devil and Dragons’, 2013, colour pencil on paper
site size: 21 x 30 cm / 8 ¼ x 11 ¾ in, unique
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January –20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges,  (Colour Illus. (p.44))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


Executed in coloured pencil, Solou’s drawings are at once evanescent and insistent, elusive and precise. They appear to be timeless – emerging out of subtlety of tone and exacting line – and in their precision, they invoke the works of Renaissance draughtsmen such as Pisanello and Dürer. As writer and critic Donatien Grau has observed, “..the precision of the artist’s line is fundamental; every line she draws is a careful decision, seemingly light and perfect, but in fact burdened with responsibility. The existential weight of drawing an imaginary being in a particular fashion is enormous; these beings will never see the light if she does not draw them. As she draws them, she conceives them, and when they are set on the sheet of paper, she has given them to the world; she has added new figures to the population of beings that exist on this earth.”


Christiana Soulou,’Dragon gracilis’, 2013, colour pencil on paper, unique
site size: 21 x 30 cm / 8 ¼ x 11 ¾ in
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January – 20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, (Colour Illus. (p.43))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


Borges invites us to explore that zone of indecision where the material goes into the feeling. The same is not the same anymore and the other is not the other anymore as in the half-crocodile half-lion eats up the integrity and the other way round.  Here is it not about the imitation or resemblance; “is required on the opposite the power of ground basis, able to dissolve forms”, to destroy identities and impose the existence of such a zone where we do not know anymore what is crocodile and what is lion – because something rises up as the triumph of their in distinctiveness. My drawings occupy that space. They are the paintings of that zone. Neither their resemblance not their difference. In the drawings of those animals it is not that the one is transformed into the other. It is the extreme contiguity in the dissimilar, the confluence of dissimilar elements under the same light, and the fact that something goes from one to the other. ( Christiana Soulou, 2014, translated from the french by Donatien Grau).

HQ18-CS11455D Monstre

Christiana Soulou ‘Monstre’,  2015, colour pencil on paper
site size: 15 x 20.5 cm / 5 ⅞ x 8 in, unique
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January – 20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges,(Colour Illus. (p.45))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


Classical art gets away from arbitrary reality by applying a system that is based entirely on the natural (and is mysterious logic), on the contrary to Northern art which has not been refined by the knowledge of the natural, abstract language and the reproduction of reality, where classical art proceeds without any constraint with the direct representation of the real. Borges’ images seem to relate more to Villard de Honnecourt’s drawings, where the real is absolutely not identical to the natural. As  a consequence, the subtraction of an order happens on a space there this order does not exist. (‘Resemblance as an order’,  Christiana Soulou)

HQ18-CS11439D Sky Blue Licorne Horses

Christiana Soulou, ‘Sky Blue Licorne Horses’,  2014, colour pencil on paper
site size: 21 x 29.6 cm / 8 ¼ x 11 ⅝ in, unique
Exhibited: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 26 January – 20 February 2016
Illustrated: The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Luis Borges, (Colour Illus. (p.75))
Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London


Christiana Soul’s drawings are the exemplification of the situation  contemporary subjectivity is left in, after the destruction symbolised by Nietzsche; if we believe, we are absurd; but if we do not believe, then we are left with the absurd. What are we, existentially, to do, in order to navigate the world we were born into, and in which we will die? .….To credo quia absurdum, or credo via impossible, Christiana Soulou replies with credo quit line eat, ‘I believe because there is the line’. The fact that there would be such a thing as a line, drawn by human hand, signifies that perfection, however, tenuous, can be reached; that the miracle of representation can be realised by a human being, by a human hand.  (Donatien Grau, ‘The reasons of belief’)

……..As much as resemblance deforms, the in distinctiveness becomes the best definition of resemblance. It is exactly the point Borges introduces the zone of indistictiveness that holds as the only space where those beings can get closer to what they are (to themselves).  Foucault’s unthinkable space then becomes the only true space and the actual work of art; a space where the same and the other, the familiar and the foreign converge in an extreme contiguity without any resemblance, and produces resemblance.  To admit the misled character of phenomena is not fatality; it i on the contrary the certainty that, beyond every evolution, every progress and every knowledge, there is a feeling of a world that places itself not before, but above knowledge. (Christiana Soulou, ‘Indecision and Space,  on her book, athens, october 2014, translated from he french by Donatien Grau)

CS book final

A remarkable notice is made in the book by  Donatien Grau about Margarita Guerrero, co-author on “The Absent Author”… Most often, Borges is cited as the only author of  “The Book of Imaginary Beings”, but in fact there were two: Jorge Luis Borges, whose eminence as one of the very few late encyclopaedic minds of the twentieth century is unparalleled, and Margarita Guerrero, his co-author, with whom he wrote the book. In the english edition. Guerrero never appears as Borge’s co-author, even though the prefaces of the two editions in Spanish are co-singed by him and her; even though the French edition lists her as a co-author; even though the édition de la Pléiade, which was prepared under Borge’s own guidance, doe not include Le Livre des être imaginaries as a work fully by Borges.  Guerrero was an important figure in Borge’s life; … she was there for him when Borges, already suffering from the ocular illness that would end up leaving him blind, had to dictate The Book of Imaginary Beings. 

Published on occasion of the exhibition “The Book of Imaginary Beings after Jorge Louis Borges, Sadie Coles, HQ, London, 26 January-20 February 2016, ©2015 Christiana Soulou, Sadie Coles HQ, Donatien Grau, published in a limited edition of 300. Designed by Frase Muggeridge Studio, Printed by Albe De Coker, Belgium
all images ©Christiana  Soulou, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London
Thank you Sadie Coles gallery with your  generous permission to publish images of the amazing drawings in my blog and use some of the extraordinary texts by Christiana Soulou and Donatien Grau..  (V.Kapernekas)


Munich; Jessica Warboys “Neap Tide” at Kunstverein’s Schaufenster am Hofgarten

Berlin and Suffolk-based artist Jessica Warboys elaborates that ‘painting is a wet medium’ with her ongoing series of Sea Paintings.  Last night preview opening  at kunstverein Munich (k.m) for the ‘Schaufenster’ at  Hofgarten she  created  a new piece “Neap Tide” where she developed a new display apparatus for her Sea Paintings, which alludes to photo-cinematic moving panoramas and the loops of film stock.

Jessica Warboys ‘Neap Tide’ 10 May -June 26, 2016

IMG_4745 (1)

The mechanism will be turned incrementally, without advanced notice, generating a new rhythm distinct from the temporality of her initial process. The effect is a wave of painterly information that proceeds over time, a picture that is always imperceptibly changing like the crystal flow of tides.


Jessica Warboys  journeyed to the seashore to produce this work during ‘neap tide’a semi-monthly interval where the difference between high and low tide is at its least.  Relinquishing her aesthetic control to the movements of the sea, the Sea Paintings also register the specific place and time of their manufacture. They function a sort of implicit cinema. 

‘She lays large sheets of canvas on the beach, applies pigment to their sea soaked surfaces, and then casts the canvases  back out to sea. While seemingly  abstract, the images that result record the intimate and transitory interaction of her own movements with the confluence of the canvas surface, the pigment, and the tendencies and flows of the waves, wind, salt, and sand.'(k.m press) 



Jessica Warboys created a set of beautiful edition prints for her guests


Fabulous  flower arrangements celebrated the event by the flower curators  “Buketai”; an amazing creative project initiated by the k.m director Chris Fitzpatrick.



Buketai is the name for the work of sisters Aurime and Igne Aleksandraviciute. As ’flower curators’, they  design a series of arrangements of plants in response to the exhibitions at Kunstverein München.

Following the opening, Warboys and artist and musician Morten Norbye Halvorsen presented  a sound performance and DJ set in the foyer of k.m  that further accentuates the looped logic of Warboys’ exhibition.

Athens; “Wols & Eileen Quinlan”at Museum of Cycladic art; curated by Helena Papadopoulos

During my short visit in Athens 2 weeks ago,  I had the pleasure and honour to see a beautiful, vibrant and poetic exhibition at the Museum of Cycladic Art, “Always starts as an encounter; Wols /Eileen Quinlan”curated by Helena Papadopoulos &  produced by radio athènes.  (March 17-May 8, 2016) . Walking thru the exhibition with my long time friend lovely Helena whom I fully admired for her curatorial practice for years. Helena so accurately  had been preparing  this exhibition from the last 2 years.  An artist talk and lecture with Quinlan and art historian Olivier Berggruen took place on March 18, 7PM



The Stathatos mansion : A marble staircase leads up to the elevated ground floor of the mansion, to the dining room and the main drawing room, as well as a cast-iron rotunda axial to the entrance. No alterations have been made to these rooms, which have retained their original gilded stucco mural decorations, chandeliers, and fireplaces (during exhibitions parts of these are covered by wooden revetments).



“Always starts as an encounter” Wols/Eileen Quinlan,
curated by Helena Papadopoulos, produced by Radio Athènes
Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; photos: Yiannis Hadjisaslanis
courtesy of Radio Athènes

Quinlan and Wols are separated by time, historical circumstances and distinct photographic processes. And yet, their works embody the ambiguity of time, and yet both appear to delegate a part of their process to matter itself, as they travel across several genres: ‘por- traits’, ‘abstractions’, ‘fashion photographs’ and ‘still lives’. (curator’s notes)

[…] why is there a shadow in a kitchen, there is a shadow in a kitchen because every little thing is bigger” writes Gertrude Stein under the entry “Roastbeef” in the section Food of her 1914 volume “Tender Buttons” in which she looks at everyday, familiar, unexceptional ob- jets. (curator’s notes) 



“Always starts as an encounter” Wols/Eileen Quinlan,
curated by Helena Papadopoulos, produced by Radio Athènes
Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; photos: Yiannis Hadjisaslanis
courtesy of Radio Athènes

Unpacking the photographic images of German born Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze (1913-1951), known as Wols, and American artist Eileen Quinlan (*1972) a similar encounter with familiar objects, -cheese, beans, mud, esh, liquids, cloths, a hand or a face- pro- duces indelible imprints, representations of temporal operations and elemental materiality.

Wols, cited by art historians as one of the three pioneering art informel artists, together with Jean Fautrier and Jean Dubuffet, became known post-humously for his watercolours, drawings, writings and his heavily worked paintings with scratched layers of oil of the mid 1940s. His photographic work of the 1930’s had been largely ignored until photography historian Volker Kahmen and photographer Georg Heusch produced modern prints in 1976 from negatives made available by Wols’s sister, Dr. Elfriede Schulze-Battmann. Wols made numerous portraits, close-ups of pavements and dilapidated walls, rocks and beaches and was commissioned to photograph the ‘Pavillion de l’ Élégance’ in the 1937 Paris World Fair. Often working with borrowed cameras and more often than not unable to procure materials to print his negatives, he used his kitchen as makeshift studio and darkroom. It is in the kitchen that Wols produced some of his most outstanding images: “He went shopping and cooked Spanish or Chinese…..but first everything was photographed [raw]-the rabbit, the onions”, writes his wife Gréty, in a 1966 letter. Defamiliarizing the ordinary through the devolution of objects, Wols still lifes echo Georges Bataille’s writings on the ‘informe’ and ‘base materialism’. They are symptomatic of a feeling of insecurity permeating Paris in the 1930s, an atmosphere mirrored, one can claim, in today’s uncertain developments and imminent changes in Europe. (curator’s notes and exhibition press release).


Born in Berlin in 1913, Wols left Germany in 1932 to live in France except for a two-year residence in Spain. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he was interned for over a year in various camps. After his death in 1951, Wols was represented in the rst three Documenta exhibitions (1955, 1959, 1964) and at the Venice Biennale in 1958. Major exhibitions of his photographic oeuvre include: Wols, der gerettete Blick, curated by Michael Hering, Kupferstich Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden (2013) and Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2014); Wols Photographs, curated by Christina Mehring, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museum, Cambridge, MA (1999) and Wols, Photographe, curated by Laszlo Glozer, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1980).


the exhibition continuer in the cast-iron rotunda axial to the entrance




“Always starts as an encounter” Wols/Eileen Quinlan,
curated by Helena Papadopoulos, produced by Radio Athènes
Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; photos: Yiannis Hadjisaslanis
courtesy of Radio Athènes

Born in Boston in 1972, Eileen Quinlan lives and works in New York. She has been explor- ing the layers that constitute the photographic apparatus, the materiality of both image and lm, often turning the transformative processes that take place, into her very subject. She has produced ‘still lifes’, ‘abstractions’ and ‘portraits’ oscillating between colour and black and white in order to ‘posit neither chromatic register as truer than the other’, as she notes. She sometimes shoots with outdated polaroid lm, or adds tequila in the water in which the lm may be bathed for weeks. Quinlan’s manipulations of the surface of her negatives include abrasions with steel wool and ballpoint pens, ngerprints and liquids, her active interventions resulting in textured prints. Matter (the body or the photographic materials) and memory (as after image) are inscribed within a medium which is treated ‘not as uncon- ditional reception of the perceived world, but as a position within a scopic regime mediated and in ected by barriers, screens, curtains’. (curator’notes and exhibition’s press release)

Eileen Quinlan teaches at Bard College’s Milton Avery School of the Arts. Her work has been featured in solo and thematic exhibitions internationally including Image Support, Ber- gen Kunsthall, Bergen (2016); Lens Work, LACMA, Los Angeles, CA (2015); What is a Photograph?, ICP, New York (2014) and Momentum 13: Eileen Quinlan, ICA, Boston, MA (2009). She is represented by Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York and Campoli Presti, London/ Paris. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, New York among others. Eileen Quinlan is represented by Miguel Abreu Gallery/New York.

Helena Papadopoulos carefully chose the pieces by Wols and Eileen Quinlan and placed them in this environment of Cycladic Museum.  I loved the exhibition! Walking from the Athens streets in the  Stathatos Megaro was  a  poetic wave. Thank you Helena!  Couple of years ago in Berlin I had the chance to see the “Wols Photograph – Der gerettete Blick: Ausstellung des Informel-Künstlers im Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin .  Moreover, I believe the “Always starts as an encounter ; Wols/Eileen Quinlan” exhibition  is a truly  gem.

Organized by Radio Athènes with the collaborationof the Goethe-Institut, with additional support from Outset. Greece; the Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; Aegean; New Hotel, member of Yes! Hotels and Design Hotels and the generous participation of Olivier Berggruen. Ms Papadopoulos and the Cycladic museum want to acknowledge with warmest thanks to :  Eileen Quinlan, Miguel Abreu, Olivier Berggruen, Stephanie Buck, Aphrodite Gonou, Michael Hering, Maria Joannou, Elina Kountouri (NEON) , Samuel Merians, the Eileen Quinlan Studio and Juliane Stegner.

The Museum of Cycladic Art is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium BC.It was founded in 1986, to house the collection of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris. Since then it has grown in size to accommodate new acquisitions, obtained either through direct purchases or through donations by important collectors and institutions. Read more here on the history of Cycladic Museum in Athens 


The Stathatos Mansion gracefully combines elements of Greek and Roman architecture with the canons of Romantic Classicism, prevailing in nineteenth-century Europe. The building is articulated with two virtually identical fronts, which meet at a monumental porch of Renaissance form. The entrance is emphasized by an arched façade supporting a balcony on the first floor, as well as by two statues crowning the roof; work of the Bavarian architect Ernst Ziller, is one of the most important extant examples of Neoclassical architecture in nineteenth-century Athens. It was built in 1895 as the residence of the family of Othon and Athina Stathatos, to whom it belonged until 1938. It subsequently housed diplomatic representations of various states. In 1982 it was purchased by the Greek State and was restored and refurbished by the architect P. Kalligas, with a view to its use as accommodation for VIP guests of the State.For various reasons this plan was abandoned and in 1991 the building was leased to the MCA, in order to cover its increased needs for exhibition space. In 2001 the Greek State decided to concede its use for another 50 years to the N.P. Goulandris Foundation, to facilitate the operation of the museum.

one of the best -designed spaces in Greece, the Cycladic Art Cafe, concept and designed by the wonderful KOIS Associated Architects.

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“Always starts as an encounter” Wols/Eileen Quinlan,
curated by Helena Papadopoulos, produced by Radio Athènes
Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; photos: Yiannis Hadjisaslanis
courtesy of Radio Athènes

Munich; “Elektra” at Bayerische Staatsoper; a tragedy in one act of violence and darkness

It was through ‘Elektra’ that Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal met in 1906. Already famous and mid-way through their careers, both were recognised as heirs of the great Germanic tradition. On April 22, 2016 I had the honour to watch a  fabulous performance “Electra “with the amazing soprano ladies, Gabrielle Schnaut and Evelyn Herlitzius conducted by the fantastic orchestra conductor, Ms Simone Young. 

Composer Richard Strauss , libretto Hugo von Hofmannsthal , stage design-costumes and lighting  by Herbert Wernicke 

Players: Gabriele Schnaut, Evelyn Herlitzius, Anne Schwanewilms, Ulrich Reß, René Pape, Christoph Stephinger ( In German without surtitles- Duration: 1 hours 50 minutes)

csm_04_beed1dd134Elektra: Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra), Gabriele Schnaut (Klytämnestra), photo@Wilfried Hösl


“Over the course of a slow twilight.” This is the scenic indication which Hofmannsthal gives for Elektra, a tragedy in one act of violence and darkness.

“Elektra” is a difficult, musically complex work which requires great stamina to perform. The role of Elektra, in particular, is one of the most demanding in the dramatic soprano repertoire.  The evening I attended the opera, April 22nd, Electra was Evelyn Herlitzius and Gabriella Schnaut as Klytaemnestra  who celebrated  her 40th anniversary on stage this year.

Despite being based on ancient Greek mythology, the opera is highly modernist and expressionist. Hofmannsthal and Strauss’s adaptation of the story focuses tightly on Elektra, thoroughly developing her character by single-mindedly expressing her emotions and psychology as she meets with other characters, mostly one at a time. The other characters are Klytaemnestra, her mother and one of the murderers of her father Agamemnon; her sister, Chrysothemis; her brother, Orestes; and Klytaemnestra’s lover, Aegisthus. These characters are secondary, and typically remain one-dimensional.

Elektra_Schnaut (c) Wilfried Hösl

Elektra: Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra), Gabriele Schnaut (Klytämnestra), photo@Wilfried Hösl


Synopsis: On his return from the Trojan War, King Agamemnon was murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus. Electra, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, wishes to avenge her murdered father. She is awaiting the return of her brother, Orestes, who was removed from the court as a child after the murder of his father…..

csm_07_cc9837c0c6Elektra: René Pape (Orest), Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra);photo@Wilfried Hösl

…….Her sister, Chrysothemis, warns Electra that their mother, Clytemnestra, is planning to have her locked up. Chrysothemis, who longs passionately for love and a life of fulfilment, is afraid that she might meet with a similar fate.

……..Electra is  determined to carry out her plan for revenge on Clytemnestra and Aegisthus with the sole help of Chrysothemis. But Chrysothemis refuses to become involved.

csm_10_7e6e1a83e7Elektra: Edith Haller (Chrysothemis), Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra); photo@Wilfried Hösl
csm_01__2__779f0fc4e6Elektra: Golda Schultz (Fünfte Magd), Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra);photo@Wilfried Hösl
csm_01_3_b4f7efa6eeElektra: Anna Rajah (Die Schleppträgerin), Gabriele Schnaut (Klytämnestra), Maria Marzo (Die Vertraute); photo@Wilfried Hösl


impressive stage design-costumes and lighting by Herbert Wernicke

………Aegisthus now returns. Electra greets him with feigned friendliness, confirms the news of Orestes’ death and accompanies Aegisthus into the palace, where Orestes awaits him.

………In her joy at the vengeance which has been wreaked, Electra is hardly aware of Chrysothemis when the latter comes to tell her that Orestes has arrived and has killed Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.

(Bayerische Staatsoper/translation: Susan Bollinger)

“A gigantic orchestra, vocals pushed to their limits, post-Wagnerianism reaches its extreme limits and bursts into flames once and for all in this lyrical work.”

 Gabriele Schnaut celebrates her 40th anniversary on stage this year…. In the premiere of Herbert Wernicke’s iconic production by 1997 and in many subsequent performances, she sang the title role. …Gabrielle Schnaut states that “Electra is my role identification”  She was Electra on the original premiere recording on October 27,  1997 at the Nationaltheater in Munich.  here on the Bayerische Staatsoper Blog, you may listen the original recording from that time.   On this occasion of its fortieth stage anniversary leading  dramaturgist  Rainer Karlitschek held a small audience discussion by  the central box in Tier 1 and invited the audience  of the April 22 evening.

csm_SOP-DR24616041813040_eefdff9088Tochter und Mutter: Gabriele Schnaut als Elektra und Marjana Lipovsek als Klytämnestra ..
csm_9C2A1515_87b43d6203Elektra: Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra), Gabriele Schnaut (Klytämnestra);photo@Wilfried Hönl;  source:staatsoperblog

Elektra vs. Klytämnestra: Sie haben beide Rollen bereits verkörpert. Inwiefern können Sie sich mit beiden Charakteren identifizieren?
Gabrielle Schaut  Es ist meine Überzeugung, dass jede Sängerin und jeder Sänger eine “Identifikationsrolle” hat. Das war bei mir definitiv die “Elektra”. Der Schritt von der Tochter zur Mutter ist mit zunehmendem Alter und veränderter körperlicher Disposition folgerichtig.

Elektra vs. Clytemnestra: You have embodied both roles already. To what extent you can identify with both characters?
Gabrielle Schnaut :  It is my belief that every singer and every singer has a “role identification”. This was definitely with me the “Elektra”. The step from the daughter to the mother is consistent with age and altered physical disposition.


Elektra: René Pape (Orest), Evelyn Herlitzius (Elektra);photo@Wilfried Hösl


New York; guest writer;Wayne Northcross on “The Most Incredible Thing’ at New York City Ballet

February 2, 2016, David H. Koch Theater
Original Cast: Taylor Stanley, Sterling Hyltin, Amar Ramasar Ask la Cour, Russell Janzen, Tiler Peck  ;  Length: 45 Min
Costumes by : Marcel Dzama, supervised by Marc Happel
Set by: Marcel Dzama
Lighting by: Brandon Stirling Baker

Justin Peck’s  “The Most Incredible Thing “premiered on February 2, 2016, at NYCB’s annual New Combinations Evening.  Peck and composer Bryce Dessner (The National) had invited visual artist Marcel Dzama to collaborate with them on a new work for New York City Ballet; Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Most Incredible Thing”is  a lesser-known fairytale by the Danish author published in 1870.

I had the honour to be invited by my dear friend and wonderful writer Wayne Northcross to enjoy  this fabulous performance.  Wayne Northcross had been commissioned to write for the New York Observer, but few days ago  he  delivered to me a splendid text to be  hosted at VKblog.


“I have been following visual artist Marcel Drama and ballet choreographer Justin Peck for months leading up to premiere of the New York City Ballet’s The Most Incredible Thing, their collaborative ballet based on the 1870 story by Hans Christian Andersen. I hadn’t been hanging outside the David Koch Theater trying to sneak a peek backstage at the dancers, sets and costumes I’ve heard so much about. No. I have been following Peck and Dzama on Instagram, marveling at how much I could preview of Dzama’s highly detailed and beautiful sketches for the costumes and sets as well as at Peck’s posts of dancers en pointe, executing jetes or arabesques. My favorite image is one Peck posted a few weeks ago of him and Dzama, smiling and sitting cross-legged on stage in front of Dzama’s painted backdrop of a double-headed firebird. This image got me thinking about how collaboration among artists from various disciplines can either ignite or spark a mutually creative enterprise or how competing and highly unique abilities can make partnering go up in flames. Then I attended a dress rehearsal after which I stopped looking so much at Instagram. Seeing the ballet in person or gleaning aspects of it on my phone, two things became quite clear: the production is stunningly beautiful and fully realized, full of visual and technical complexities; Drama and Peck have arrived at a seamless, mutually beneficial collaborative style.



Sterling Hyltin and Taylor Stanley in Justin Peck’s “The Most Incredible Thing” Photo credit @ Barbara Anastacio resource: NYC Ballet Photo blog


Tiler Peck in Justin Peck’s “The Most Incredible Thing” Photo credit @Barbara Anastacio,                                               resource: NYCBalletPhotoblog

Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of a king who declares that whoever in his kingdom creates the most incredible thing in the world will be awarded the hand of the princess and half the kingdom could be seen as story ballet primer. All the dramatic elements are here. Fantastically costumed characters, a battle between the forces of good and evil, magic, and frustrated romance. In Peck’s adaptation the main characters have been tweaked a little but still include The Creator of the most incredible thing, a large magical clock, The Princess, The King, and The Destroyer of said clock. The cast grows to accommodate 45 dancers and 11 children who make up the allegorical and symbolic figures and who emerge from the clock: Three Kings, Adam & Eve, The Cuckoo Bird, Four Seasons, Five Senses, Nine Muses. A lot of bodies for Peck to choreograph—at one point all the dancers are on stage at the same time. For Dzama this requires a lot of patterned tights, feathers, headdresses, masks, swords, and spears. 37 costumes in all. Not as easy as it looks, but a seamless collaboration between the two makes it seem so.

New York City Ballet The Most Incredible Thing, costumes Photographer: Erin Baiano 646.228.5917

“The Most Incredible Thing”; costumes, photo@ Erian Baiano


Gonzalo Garcia, Jared Angle, and Daniel Applebaum The Most Incredible Thing, costumes New York City Ballet Photographer: Erin Baiano 646.228.5917Three O’Clock: The Three Kings, dancers Gonzalo Garcia, Jared Angle, Daniel Applebaum. Photo @Erin Baiano

You are meant to see the creation and destruction of this most wonderful thing by the Destroyer in the ballet as an allusion to the artist’s struggle to create and express his or her artistic genius in a fickle and easily distracted world. You could also push the story’s symbolism further to include the push-pull dynamic of collaboration that Peck and Dzama had to go through to create and destroy a little piece of their own unique vision, sublimating autonomy in service of the In a collaboration consensus and integrity are key goals. Dzama developed the costumes over time, downscaling his initial ideas to fit Peck’s choreography. For his part Peck had to give more room to accommodate Dzama’s version, which for him was a new way of working. (Wayne Northcross) 


Indiana Woodward backstage wearing a costume from Justin Peck’s “The Most Incredible Thing”,photo credit@Barbara Anastacio; resource: NYCBalletPhotoblog

Marcel Drama, is represented by David Zwirner Gallery, New York/London

Munich; “Thomas Gentille – An American Jeweller”at Die Neue Sammlung

A fabulous exhibition at the Die Neue Sammlung ( The Design Museum, Munich) opened few weeks ago “Untitled. Thomas Gentille. American Jeweler”.  American Thomas Gentile  a leading studio jewelery artist in his first comprehensive exhibition on his oeuvre.  Die Neue Sammlung is presenting  190 jewelery objects and over 90 sketches supplemented by a film on the second floor of the Rotunda in Pinakothek der Moderne. Conception and curation of the exhibition: Dr Petra Hölscher. The exhibition will run through June 5 and is accompanied by a beautiful book by Arnoldsche Art Publishers.


Thomas Gentille, Pin, 20th century
Cherry, maple
Back: Industrial pins (h. 16.2 cm, b. 4.3 cm, d. 0.6 cm)
Photo: Eva Jünger

It is a body of work to be conceived in its entirety, in which Gentille has developed over six decades without hierarchy or genealogy; he  refrains from providing any kind of information on dates.  Gentle  favors innovative plastics, solid aluminium  wide variety of woods, papier-mâché, sawdust, silk threads, old glass spheres hand blown in Bohemia and air – over gold, silver and precious stones.


Thomas Gentille, Armlet, 20th century
Acrylic, nodized aluminum, bronze bolts
ø 15.5 cm, d. 0.7 cm
Photo: Eva Jünger


Thomas Gentille, Pin, 20th century
Colorcone (plastic), steel
Back: Industrial pins
h. 6.5 – 8 cm, b. 4 – 7.5 cm, d. 1 – 2.5 cm
Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum. Permanent loan of the Danner Foundation, Munich, photo: A. Laurenzo

The pieces of jewelery created by Thomas Gentile possess their own unmistakable pictorial language. Their geometrical and polygonal forms play with surfaces that are combined with three-dimensional and sometimes architectural shapes. The surfaces are primarily monochrome or display the colors and internal structure of the material used…..

The jewelery objects by Thomas Gentille developed in the context of the international emergence of studio jewelery as a field in its own right, but also in light of an approach that bridged the ornament as an all over- structure.  This means the works also forge a lint to art, to representatives of Minimalism, such as Donald Judd or Robert Mangold, and to Hard Edge approaches, such as that of Frank Stella. Such ideas are as relevant as is Jackson Pollock as a campion of Abstract Expressionism.  (Dr. Angelika Nollert, at foreword of the Thomas Gentille publication)


Thomas Gentille, Pin, 20th century
Eggshell inlay (Emu)
Back: Industrial pins (h. 14.9 cm, b. 5.2 cm, d. 0.8 cm)
Photo: Eva Jünger


Thomas Gentille, Pin, 20th century
Eggshell- inlay
Back: Industrial pins (h. 7.2 cm, b. 13.8 cm, d. 0.8 cm)
Photo: Eva Jünger

His works with an eggshell overlay are famous. Using this mysterious method and even without employing the old Asian lacquer technique he produces a krakelée surface on his works. Gentille explains that it takes years of experimentation and practice with the technique until you finally grasp the “soul of the material”. (press)


Thomas Gentille, late 1980s
Photo: Bill Philipps
Archive: Thomas Gentille

Thomas Gentille is born 1936 in Mansfield, Ohio, and a resident of New York since 1960. With Gentille, Die Neue Sammlung is continuation its tradition of exhibiting international studio jewelery.  Following extensive monographs of the works by Hermann  Jünger, Gijs Bakker, Dorothea Prühl, Giampaolo Babette, Peter Skubic, Otto Künzli and Anton Cepka, with Thomas Gentille another broad oeuvre is acknowledged – one which is closely linked to Munich and its development as a centre for studio jewelry. It was back in 2001 that Thomas Gentile was awarded the Herbert Hofmann Award in the jewelry section of the Internationale Handwerksmesse, Munich’s annual exhibition of craftsmanship, and since the artist has exhibited regularly in the city. In 2004 he was presented with he Bavarian State Award, in Munich. (Dr Angelika Nollert, foreword of published book, ‘Untitled. Thomas Gentille. American Jeweller.’) 


Thomas Gentille, Bracelet, 20th century
h. 6.9 cm, b. 3.8 cm
Photo: Eva Jünger



                                                                  Thomas Gentille, feb 26th, 2016,  photo@Venetia Kapernekas
a film conceived and realized by the artist about the two most important cities in his life, namely New York and Munich is projected in the premised of the Rotunda at Pinakothek der Moderne.


A beautiful  230-page catalog  by Arnoldsche Publications on the life and work of the artist with a preface by Dr.Angelika Nollert, an essay by Andrea DiNoto and an interview with Thomas Gentille conducted by Bettina Dittlmann and Dr.Petra Hölscher.


Thomas Gentille, Pin, 21st century
Air, plywood, maple, paint
Back: Industrial pins
h. 22.3 cm, b. 2.2 cm, d. 1.2 cm
Photo: Eva Jünger

Gentille’s works are owned by leading museums worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Cleveland Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, Munich.



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visits on art, design, architecture and literature

Eclectic Trends

Interior Design and Lifestyle Trends

Venetia Atelier

A notebook on art, architecture, film, theatre and nature.

maria sarri Art projects

#art_projects, #public_art, #site_specific, #post_colonial, #urban_art

Η καλύβα ψηλά στο βουνό

Σε κοίταζα μ' όλο το φως και το σκοτάδι που έχω


A personal perspective on human interest stories from an American journalist living abroad

An Englishman in Berlin

Blog about life and culture in Berlin, Germany


bits and pieces that interest me


An Alternative Cultural Daybook

Venetian Red Art Blog

Art, the resplendent light that illuminates the world

visits on art, design, architecture and literature


visits on art, design, architecture and literature


visits on art, design, architecture and literature


visits on art, design, architecture and literature


This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees


gaze at Greece


the new T.A.M.A platform